How to use “già” in Italian
Già has two meanings. The primary one (and most used) is already. The second one, which is especially used in conversation, is right or indeed.
The most common use of già is when it is used with the sense of “already“.
The basic use of già is with the past tense (passato prossimo), just like in English. In this case, the position of già is always between the auxiliary verb and the past participle.
- Hai già fatto colazione? – Have you already had breakfast?
- Sono già stato in Italia – I have already been to Italy.
- L’hai già fatto? – Have you already done it?
- L’hai già letto? – Have you already read it?
Typically, to answer a question including “già,” we use:
- non..ancora – not yet
- non..mai – never
Hai già visitato Roma? – Have you already visited Rome?
- No, non l’ho ancora visitata – No, I haven’t visited it yet
- No, non l’ho mai visitata – No, I have never visited it
Già: yeah, right, indeed
When the word “già” is used in a phrase or exclamation, it has a secondary meaning (particularly during an informal conversation). It roughly translates to “yeah, I’m aware.” A feeling of resignation to something is the nuance here.
- Dovresti smettere di fumare. – you should quit smoking.
- Già! – right!
- le vacanze sono finite – holidays are over
- Già! – indeed!